Understanding the Internet Revolution

By: Jamie Lin

Definition of revolution: noun, a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way something works or is organized—or a fundamental change in people’s ideas about it (source: Google Dictionary). 

Revolution changes human society. And, history is created by waves of revolution, a continuous loop in which change molds and chips away at society. Each revolution builds upon one another, creating distinct lifestyles that are uniquely specific to each revolution. In retrospect (Fig. 1), our definition of history creates analysis and perspective to contextualize and understand what revolution has wrought.

Fig 1 - RevolutionsFigure 1: History of Revolutions

At this very moment, we find ourselves in a rare opportunity to talk about the ‘Internet Revolution’ while it is happening. To see the full impact of the Internet Revolution, one must understand the changes that past revolutions and Internet 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 contributed—and utilize these experiences to adapt to future changes. 

Internet 1.0: Meshed Network

Fig 2 - Internet 1.0
Figure 2: What is Internet 1.0, Meshed Network

When we play out the meshing of network in Internet 1.0 (Fig. 2), we see the progression from centralized dial-up network and utilizing telephone wire network to dedicated cable-DSL-fiber and mobile wireless networks. With the upcoming evolution to 5G, we will push the meshed network to another level. To show the impact on society of Internet 1.0, Fig. 3 on the next page visually charts the progression to a 50-million-users adoption rate.


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